Last year, I made an analysis of the July vote which I titled Bishops give a clear lead, in which I said:
Episcopal opposition turned out to be almost entirely limited to a core group of only twelve bishops. These included five who later signed the 15 August letter (see below) and who also have votes in Synod, i.e. the Bishops of Blackburn, Chichester, Europe, Burnley and Beverley. There were also seven others: the Bishops of Birmingham, Exeter, London, Rochester, Winchester, Dover and, significantly, the Archbishop of Canterbury.
At the end of the debate, the Archbishop abstained, and the other eleven all voted against the substantive motion. The only other bishop who voted “No” was the Bishop of Durham, whose earlier motion to adjourn the debate had support from only 46% of the synod. He had consistently opposed every amendment throughout the debate.
So, how did these thirteen bishops vote in February 2009, and who else voted AGAINST this legislation?
An examination of the February voting record shows as follows:
Thus altogether only seven bishops of the “July thirteen” voted against the draft measure, and only five voted against the draft canon.
However, there were other bishops who cast negative votes: Chester, Norwich and Wakefield voted against the draft measure, and Salisbury and Wakefield voted against the draft canon while Chester abstained in relation to the canon (Norwich voted for it).
In summary, the bishops gave a even clearer lead than in July.